Bush Starts "Second Surge" to Double Number of Troops in Iraq - Page 7 - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-24-2007, 10:37 AM   #91
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Originally posted by unico
2861U2, I know disagreements with people who are on the opposite side of your beliefs are frustrating. I get frustrated myself, as you've seen here. However, I can't help notice that you are very quick to generalize. And, as a college administrator, I just want to advise you that that can be very dangerous. College is a great opportunity to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds and idealologies that you've never met before. Jumping to conclusions about people in the way you do can be dangerous outside of the message board.

Even if you feel like you don't fit in, you should still embrace the college environment. It is an opportunity that not everyone gets the chance to experience. You said you wish college kids thought more like you, but I'm sure there is already a student group that may share your beleifs, or close to it. Why not join that community?

And, I'd also recommend getting to know people on the other side too. I think if you had befriended some individuals who were different than you are, you may not be so quick to generalize. I'm not saying change your beliefs. Nobody is going to make you do that. I'm just saying it might be good to meet some other "liberals" and engage in conversation with them. You might be surprised by what you find.

Just a thought.
I hear what you're saying. There are students that share my beliefs, and I have joined the college republicans group and made friends with them, as have I made friends with people on the opposite side of the aisle. But I also dont think that it is wrong or farfetched to believe that most colleges are largley a liberal place with teachers often using their position to promote an agenda outside the realm of what they should be teaching.

I'm certainly not bashing my opportunity to attend college. I'm fully aware I'm part of the small percentage of people who get this chance and I wouldnt trade it for anything.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:21 AM   #92
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What'd you expect? ConDAMS?

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Old 05-24-2007, 02:07 PM   #93
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Old 05-24-2007, 02:43 PM   #94
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The Adviser Model

We have to stay in Iraq for a decade. Here's how to do it.


By Bing West and Owen West
slate, May 23


Now that Democrats have stripped their troop-withdrawal timetable from the war funding bill, it's clear that American forces will remain in Iraq through 2008. It also seems likely that they will stay much, much longer. The leading presidential candidates in both parties recognize the dangers of a rapid pullout, and achieving stability in Iraq is going to take a decade.

How can U.S. soldiers stay in Iraq and accomplish what needs to be done? Our best hope is the Adviser Model. With the surge still under way, Gen. David Petraeus obviously cannot discuss a Plan B. But given U.S. public opinion, a Plan B for 2008 and beyond is a certainty. Its central feature is likely to be the buildup of a combat-advisory corps as our combat units are drawn down. Americans need to understand who those advisers are, what they will do, and how many we will need. There is little to indicate that most citizens, or even politicians, are well-educated on the subject. A recent proposal from House Democrats, for example, distinguished between advisers, whom they allowed to remain in Iraq, and the "combat troops" they sought to withdraw. This indicates a gap of understanding that must be bridged before any such transition can occur.

Advisers have been a U.S. military staple for 70 years. American advisers augmented allied forces in World War II and Korea but were most prominent in Vietnam. While initially prohibited from direct combat, advisers in Vietnam became increasingly combat-oriented as our involvement increased. The first infantry advisers were special-forces soldiers designed for the domino theory and trained to aid "indigs." By the time Nixon's Vietnamization policy was announced in 1969, there were almost 12,000 military advisers in Vietnam, mostly officers and senior NCOs from traditional ranks. When the conventional forces withdrew, the advisers were the remaining link to American firepower, bolstering the defense—and morale—of the South Vietnamese army until they, too, were pulled out.

The military has a mission statement for advisers that is too broad to be informative. Advisers "advise, coach, teach and mentor." Today, every Iraqi army and police unit has between 10 and 25 advisers, called "transition teams," living with them. While some advisers perform as drill instructors for recruits and others work with Iraqi staffs behind barriers of American concrete, the majority do their job by setting the example outside the wire in combat. Many battalion advisers accompany Iraqi patrols twice a day, setting a much higher operational tempo than most American units. This aggressive willingness to share risk makes the Advisory Model viable. The heart of the relationship between the American adviser and his Iraqi counterpart is a quid pro quo: The transition team leader brings logistics and a lifeline to American forces and firepower. In return, the Iraqi commander listens to advice about basic tactics and planning. It is the adviser's performance under stress and willingness to share risk side by side with Iraqi troops that yields the true leverage: the ability to influence operations.

Danger is part of the job. It would be misleading to assume that the number of American casualties will drop precipitously if most combat units are withdrawn and advisers stay. The improvised explosive devices that account for more than 65% of U.S. casualties will still lurk in waiting every time a mounted patrol leaves the wire. This is especially true as the advisers persist with the current counterinsurgency emphasis of living in the neighborhoods instead of on large bases.

The Advisory Model represents America's best chance to influence the fight for Iraq while pulling our troops out, but to do it the military must make three changes. First, the military must select its best troops for these assignments. Currently, there is a marked variance in the performance of adviser teams. Though advisers have been labeled as our most important Iraq effort, the selection policy reveals the underlying truth: Leadership and key staff billets in conventional units such as battalions are much more prized than are assignments to advisory teams. The same held true in Vietnam.

Second, the military needs a new model for its advisers' tour lengths. Most advisers say that 12 months in-country is too long, especially given the small size of the unit and its outsized responsibilities. But most also agree that relationships take time to cement and that 7-month Marine tours—and even 13-month Army tours—are too short to see a local plan through to a conclusion. A better alternative, albeit at higher support and travel costs, is to copy the model used by special-operations teams. This would extend the assignment to specific Iraqi units up to two years, enlarging the teams while permitting team members back to the United States for 30 days every four months.

Finally, the military needs a new management model for its advisory corps. Advisers are like entrepreneurs, each tinkering with their own startup projects. This is unusual in a military that still uses a Napoleonic, hierarchical management structure, and the results so far have been mixed. One transition team may do what's called "active advising," spending the bulk of its time patrolling, while 5 kilometers away another may choose to remain inside the base, focused on staff planning. The military needs to adopt risk controls similar to those employed by Wall Street firms and other large companies that encourage risk-taking by entrepreneurial units. It must strike a better balance between nationwide unity of effort, local relationships, and individual risk-reward profiles.

A full-fledged Plan B would leave about 80,000 U.S. troops in Iraq in 2009, about half as many as will be in-country at the height of the surge. The adviser corps would nearly quadruple, to 20,000 troops, with another 25,000 in four combat brigades and special-forces units, plus 30,000 logistics troops. Another 5,000 Americans will live on the grounds of the new U.S. embassy in Baghdad, where they will rarely venture out. A comparative handful of American diplomats, called Provincial Reconstruction Teams, currently live with U.S. brigades. Far more are needed. Another 15,000 American contractors would provide security and training functions, up from 10,000 today. In addition, the number of foreign contractors who provide food and logistics to the U.S. military would remain steady at 90,000 or drop.

Equally as important: Over the next two years, the Iraqis need to build to 60,000 soldiers and police in Anbar province, 80,000 in Baghdad, and another 40,000 in the rest of the Sunni Triangle. This represents an increase of 25% over current plans.

Can an Adviser Model work as Plan B? At the grass roots, yes. An aggressive corps of advisers and their Iraqi brethren can prevent the country from cratering. However, stability in Iraq depends on two other factors. The first is the commitment to national unity on the part of the ministries and political parties. On May 17, Ambassador Ryan Crocker said, "What I see is an awareness and focus on the part of the Iraqi leadership that reconciliation is key to Iraq's success." Obviously, Crocker has to be proved right in his judgment. To date, the top Iraqi leadership has been much weaker—and more selfish—than the bottom.

The second factor is U.S. steadfastness. There is no full exit or abrupt departure without serious adverse consequences. "If you leave quickly, we'll redistribute our units and go back to where we have local support," Lt. Gen. Ali Ghaidan, commander of the Iraqi Ground Forces, told us in a recent interview. Such consolidation, which seems logical, is the adjustment President Nguyen Van Thieu tried to make in South Vietnam in 1975. But once South Vietnamese units began to pull out of the more remote areas, panic set in and events cascaded out of control. South Vietnam had a very experienced army; for the Iraqi army to try such adjusting—meaning, pulling out of the tough Sunni areas like Qaim or Fallujah—risks total chaos.

This war will be fought for another 10 years because there is no central authority controlling the extremist groups among the dozens of gangs that compose the Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias. This is a bottom-up war that will be fought out in dozens of cities, towns, and farming communities. The core strength of the Iraqi security forces lies at the battalion level of the army, which is the least sectarian institution in Iraq. These battalions, paired with police departments, are the key to the war. Left abruptly on their own, they would fall apart. Like Afghanistan—where we have 30,000 soldiers fighting and advising—Iraq is a commitment for a decade.

Bing West, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense and author of two books on the war, recently returned from his 13th trip to Iraq. Owen West, a trader at Goldman, Sachs, recently returned from his second tour with the Marines in Iraq.
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:53 AM   #95
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Originally posted by 2861U2


Is that so?

Well then, would you like to condemn the statements of John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and the others who voted for this war and who believed Saddam was a threat? Would you like to condemn Hillary for voting for this war and then bragging when we caught Saddam?

I guess when President Bush says something, its a lie, but when Dems say the exact same thing, it's something else.
Hillary Clinton never voted for "this war" at all. She voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq, and as she said in the Senate floor at the time of her vote, it was to apply pressure on Baghdad to let Hans Blix and the UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq. She also supported the Byrd amendment to the authorization bill, which called for a one-year limit on the authorization.

As she has said all along, she NEVER would have fought this war, and has promised that as President, she will end it.
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:19 AM   #96
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Hillary Clinton never voted for "this war" at all. She voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq
Oh, come on, dont give me that. She gloated when we caught Saddam saying she voted for the war.

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As she has said all along, she NEVER would have fought this war, and has promised that as President, she will end it.
Pulling the troops out will not end the war.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:09 AM   #97
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Originally posted by 2861U2
Pulling the troops out will not end the war.
But it'll sure stop kids your age from losing their arms, legs, and lives over there.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:18 AM   #98
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Originally posted by martha


But it'll sure stop kids your age from losing their arms, legs, and lives over there.
You're right, instead, if we pull out, Al-Qaeda can come chop off our arms and legs over here.
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:39 PM   #99
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But it'll sure stop kids your age from losing their arms, legs, and lives over there.
I doubt it, in towns controlled by the Shiite Madhi Army as well as Sunni terrorist controlled towns the sharia courts did a fine job at dismembering individuals and families that stepped out of line - it won't end when the US leaves, but at least whatever happens will still be Bush's fault.

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You're right, instead, if we pull out, Al-Qaeda can come chop off our arms and legs over here
Have you even seen Raiders? Gun > Sword.
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:05 PM   #100
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Have you even seen Raiders? Gun > Sword.
and flying plane into building or blowing up shopping mall > gun
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:10 PM   #101
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Originally posted by 2861U2


and flying plane into building or blowing up shopping mall > gun
And do you honestly think a war will stop the possibility of this happening again?

How many people did it take?
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:23 PM   #102
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And do you honestly think a war will stop the possibility of this happening again?
It hasnt happened since 9/11. Our troops being over there puts pressure on the enemy. I heard someone say that because we are over there Al-Qaeda is constantly moving around and on the defense, making it hard for them to plot attacks. Does nobody else see that leaving Iraq would create a space that will absolutely be filled by Iran or Al-Qaeda? Pulling out certainly would not decrease the chance of us being hit again. Al-Qaeda will know that have chosen to lose and that we are weak.

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How many people did it take?
You mean, how many people will have to die in a terrorist attack before people realize that there is a real enemy that wants all of us dead? I dont know, you tell me.
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:46 PM   #103
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The U.S will be attacked again someday. No matter what you do. If anything, all the occupation of Iraq has done is provide recruitment video fodder for propaganda to be used by extremists to attract desparate people with nothing to lose. There are so many holes in U.S security which cannot be stopped short of marital law. The U.S can't even stop drug smuggling after decades of trying. People who work at airports, docks and other international border facitlities are conveniently looking the other way. Relatively speaking, the terrorist threat is a nuisance, more people die every day in the U.S in car accidents and from tripping and falling than terrorism.

The U.S is never leaving Iraq either. Too much money has been invested into the embassy, bases and airfields. Iraq is the South Korea of the Middle East. This "war" is a perpetual war which has no chance of ending via a sole military strategy.

Who is Al Qaeda? Where are they? How many people are in Al Qaeda? Who funds them? Who are their weapons suppliers? What are there specific goals apart from the rhetoric of just wanting to kill us? Why do they attack U.S targets and their allies? There are no simple answers to any of these questions which is why just having a military force in Iraq won't provide "victory" ( whatever the hell that means in this siuation) Is having only one bombing a week a victory in Iraq, maybe. If these issues aren't addressed, then prepare for a draft or a pullout cause there will be a breaking point for the forces who keep getting sent to Iraq over and over and over again.
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:50 PM   #104
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Here we are again. No attack in the USA doesn't mean there hasn't been any attacks since then.

Djerba, Bali, London, Madrid, nearly Cologne.

The cells within Al Quaeda are operating very independently. The war in Iraq doesn't mean they are running into any trouble plotting attacks elsewhere. Especially since Al Quaeda first moved into Iraq after the war began as Saddam himself wasn't good friends with Bin Laden and religious fundamentals. The Iraq war didn't do much, if anything, to make this world a safer place.
It's not easy to say whether it's now more dangerous, but it's certainly not safer.

To put it short: The Iraq war wasn't necessary.

You can argue that Saddam was a brutal dictator, but so are many other dictators around the world. Still, no one is going after them.

A terrorist attack anywhere in the world is still as much a possibility than it was in 2002.

Even in the US.
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Old 05-25-2007, 01:53 PM   #105
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A terrorist attack anywhere in the world is still as much a possibility than it was in 2002
Or for that matter the supposedly safe period in early 2001.
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